Headache-less midlife crisis :D
It’s been just over 6 months of ownership for this beauty and I have enjoyed every second of it :) There was a time when I sat in a corner and scratched my head wondering which car to get that’s got supercar-ish performance, reliable, unique looks, safe to be in, not too common, but doesn’t break the bank to own and maintain in the longer run (1st world problems, I know! Sorry!). The considerations were the Jag F-Type-R, Porsche Carrera, BMW M6 Coupe and the Merc SL55. I also had a used Ferrari 360 or 430 in my mind as they were around the same price range of the the other cars, but soon dismissed the idea after reading about the issues they are both plagued with on owner blog posts. I didn’t consider the Lexus RCF due to it’s Marmite (love it or hate it ) styling. Then Lexus announced and produced the LC500.
I did test drive all the cars in my consideration list, and decided to go with the LC. The engine note is a huge part of the reason, the fit and finish is the other. The biggest reason to choose the LC was it’s potential reliability and exclusivity. It’s Toyota built, so it’d outlast you and you don’t see these beauties in public very often, where as Porsches, BMWs, Mercs and Jags are a common sight on Melbourne roads. The LC500’s naturally aspirated V8 produces a very emotional sound. It’s quite high pitched and crackly at the top end compared to the rest of the NA V8’s around, which even makes it’s sound somewhat unique. The interior quality and refinement is honestly better than the Euro rivals, imho.
It’s Mark Levinson stereo quality is comparable to the best offered by the competition. The Jag F-type -R is quicker and more of a hooligan. But speaking to a few owners confirmed my reservation about it’s reliability. And when I walked in to the Lexus dealership, I saw that a couple of owners have traded those F Types in, to drive away a Lexus of some sort.
Fuel economy is impressive too, for a V8 if you drive it sensibly. Highway driving. easily gets me between 8-9 litres of consumption for 100Km. If I thrash it around the track that can easily jump up to between 20-35l/100Km and that’s to be expected as you're pretty much standing on the gas pedal all the time. City driving gets me between 12-15l/100K, during peak traffic.
It’s safety systems are pretty darn good. It practically drives itself if you are going in a straight line, making small adjustments to the steering to stay between the white lines, which is quite impressive.
Seat and ride comfort is also top notch. The ride stiffens up if you put it into sports/sports+ modes and the exhaust gets very loud on demand (sounds glorious in the Burnley tunnel), and stay quiet and go under the radar the rest of the time. Road or wind noise is Bently level quiet and it's a very refined, quiet and comfy ride in normal or comfort modes.
The trunk size is not bad for a car of this size. I managed to squeeze in one large (20Kg type luggage) and one small (hand luggage) bag in the trunk and still had enough space to easily squeeze in a full bag of groceries if the need be.
What are the down sides to owning this car? Well there are a few.
Even though it's not a track monster, it encourages you to misbehave. So you can easily shred your rear tires and lose your license in the process and neither are cheap or convenient.
Apple CarPlay wasn’t available from the factory at the time but since then Toyota/Lexus has introduced CarpPlay and Android Auto to their line ups and I hear that the LC’s system is firmware upgradable to support these tech which would be a massive plus.
This may not be a downside for you but it is for me because of how close my neighbors live to my garage. The cold start of this car is a glorious event, but I’m sure my neighbors don’t appreciate the noise in the morning. It goes quiet after about 30 seconds of clearing it’s throat.
The other down side is the back seat. It’s very close to useless for carrying adults and sometimes grown children. I have 4 and 6 year old children, my wife is 5’6” and I’m 6’ tall. When I drive, whoever sits behind me needs to put their feet up on the rear seat. On the passenger side, the passenger foot-well is deeper, so I can sit on the passenger side and move the seat forward enough for my wife to fit in the seat behind the passenger seat, but it’s not a comfy place to be for either one of us if the back seat is occupied by an adult. I don’t fit in the back at all as my head is taller than the rear roofline. If you need to carry two adults and two children, it’s doable but not recommended for long trips. It's really a two seater with two more seats to hold extra luggage that does not fit in the boot.
One more down side. Like most modern cars, it has no spare tyre. There’s a tyre repair kit and that’s it. All four tyres are run-flats which means they wont be cheap to replace either.
Would I recommend this car to anyone? Absolutely! It’s one of the last great sounding NA V8’s you can currently buy brand new and I’m sure these cars will be a collectible classic in time to come.
Questions & Answers
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.